The worst economy since the Great Depression is starting to get better.
The experts call it a “minor recovery.” Wisconsin’s chief economist says the lowest point was March of 2009.
“The economy is coming off … I had once described it … it was as a bowling ball rolling off a table. We had a huge collapse over six months. There are clearly signs now that it has stabilized.”
Wisconsin Department of Revenue economist John Koskinen says the first quarter was a disaster, but we should see an improvement in unemployment rates in early 2010, retirement accounts are already increasing in value, manufacturing and household networth is improving. Still, Koskinen says it will be a while before we return to pre-recession conditions.
“The ugly part of it is the drop was so large and so fast we probably will not return to 2007-level employment until late 2011.”
Koskinen says while we see improvement, some other states continue to decline. He says Wisconsin will see surprising growth in the third quarter, thanks in part to cash4clunkers and other state and federal stimulus efforts.
“The federal stimulus which was passed back in February really is only getting into the stream of the economy now.”
We’re not out of the water just yet. Koskinen predicts the state economy will take two steps forward and one step back for at least a couple of years.